Organise your Writing: How to Structure a Scientific Paper
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The problem with writing is that there's not much money in it. - Cheryl Tiegs [Cohen and Cohen 1992:367]
That is not true for all, but true for many. Writing problems abound, and guidance that is had, may limit your expressivity. Yet, write something, and add, and tidy it up. That is one way. There are others.
And a paper is to provide a good range of answers and more to these: "Who, what, where, how, when and why - the six interrogative pronouns.
To enlarge on the subject, addressing the salient points of the "Air-Boc" acronym well might help you check if you have covered "surrounding terrain" as might be fit.
Also, if you address "Who is likely to benefit, and where does the funding go?" a need to be extremely diplomatic may be uncovered - since researchers may benefit from being parts of some "research enterprise", seek to get money to fund it. The ending "More research is needed to answer that" in scientific theses and papers is in a way attuned to that. And not to be overlooked, those who really benefit from your paper or efforts, may perhaps not like to be found out and exposed. So research tends to "look downwards" more than investigate upwards to where the benefits accrue. It is not always so, but one is to take care anyway, and studied modificatons may be a great help. There is a need to fit in, get accepted, so many a stride is of the conform kind. A need to be diplomatic is also there. OK?
But now to fair and square, convenient or basic research: Providing guidelines for solving problems of style, F. P. Woodford [O'Connor and Woodford 1978:44] suggests these principles:
Keep everything straightforward and readers will be grateful. [O'Connor and Woodford 1978:44]
"Do not . . . studiously avoid repeating a word in a sentence. Good English stylists prefer repetition to "elegant variation" . . . because the real menaing can easily be distorted by a badly chosen synonym." [O'Connor and Woodford 1978:44]
If you write short, simple sentences you can avoid most pitfalls.
Punctuate according to the rules of English usage you are aware of.
You should make your meaning unambiguous unless you aim for something else specifically.
Get help from friends. They may assist you in clarifying meanings eventually.
[All based on sensible counsel in O'Connor and Woodford (1978:44-45).
Some of these steps may suit you:
[O'Connor and Woodford 1978:80-81]
Papers are written on many levels and to many purposes. Interestingly, plain English helps clear thinking, so below there are some books on that too. [More tips]. The books marked with a star might perhaps be specially rewarding to students. - TK
Babbie, Earl R. The Practice of Social Research. 13th ed. London: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2012.
Barrass, Robert. Scientists Must Write: A Guide to Better Writing for Scientists, Engineers and Students. 2nd ed. London: Routledge, 2002.
Cohen, J. M., and M. J. Cohen. The New Penguin Dictionary of Quotations. Rev. ed. London: Viking, 1992.
Cutts, Martin. Oxford Guide to Plain English. 4th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.
Field, Marion. lmprove your Punctuation and Grammar. Rev 3rd ed. Begbroke: How To Books, 2009.
Gowers, Sir Ernest. The Complete Plain Words. 3rd ed. Rev. Sidney Greenbaum and Janet Whitcut. London: Penguin, 1987.
Hellevik, Ottar. Forskningsmetode i sosiologi og statsvitenskap. 7th ed., 4. oppl. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 2009.
Kerlinger, Fred, and Howard B. Lee. Foundations of Behavioral Research. 4. utg. London: Thomson Learning, 2000.
King, Graham. Improve Your Punctuation. Glasgow: HarperCollins, 2009.
King, Graham. Collins Improve Your Writing Skills. Glasgow: HarperCollins, 2009.
O'Connor, M., and F. Woodford. Writing Scientific Papers in English. London: Pitman Medical, 1978.
Schench, Mary Jane. Read, Write, Revise: A Guide to Academic Writing. New York: St Martin's Press, 1988.
*Swetnam, Derek, and Ruth Swetnam. Writing Your Dissertation: The Bestselling Guide to Planning, Preparing and Presenting First-Class Work. 3rd rev ed. Begbroke, Oxford: How To Books, 2009.
*Trask, Robert Lawrence. English Grammar. London: Penguin Books 2000.
*Trask, Robert Lawrence. Punctuation. London: Penguin Books 1997.
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